My baby boy turns 18 today.
Let me allow that to sink in for a moment.
My baby boy turns 18 today!
I am so proud of the young man he has grown into. And, while I am honored to have been a part of this beautiful journey of his, I can’t help but whine how unfair it is. It’s really not fair, you know!
I used to rock this boy and sing him to sleep each night. I’d pat his cute little tush or run my fingers through his hair if he woke up through the night. Sometimes, I couldn’t help but to scoop him out of his crib just to hold him in my arms to watch that sweet little face dream. This baby had the most infectious giggle I’ve ever heard in my life. He ALWAYS woke up happy and ready to play and be loved. As a toddler, he would run so fast at me to give me a hug that he would often knock me right off my feet. Hence, the nickname “Zac Attack.” (He still gives THE greatest hugs ever.) I miss all that…
Yet I am eager to see the choices he makes as an adult now.
In making those choices, I hope that he remembers the man he is meant to be. The man that I know he can be. He is smart, witty, compassionate, sweet, talented, strong physically, mentally, and emotionally.
While the law may see him as an adult… he will forever be my sweet little baby.
As a man, I hope that he never forgets the joy he has brought to those who know him. I pray that he finds more love in his life than his heart can ever hold.
I hope that his friendships stay strong and deep.
May he find peace in the simple things in his everyday life and never take them for granted, no matter how small or silly they may seem to someone else.
I hope he always remains humble, treating everyone he encounters with the same common decency he deserves in return.
I hope he doesn’t forget his manners and politeness to whomever he’s speaking with. Keep holding doors open for others, say “Please” and “Thank you” along with “Sir” and “Ma’am”.
I pray that his smile continues to brighten the day for everyone who is lucky enough to see it.
I hope that he’ll continue his education into areas of interest and never stop wanting to learn more. And, more.
I hope that he’s lucky enough to work in fields that he enjoys and never finds it difficult to treat his co-workers with the same respect he treats his superiors.
I pray that in love, he is caring enough to share an embrace tight enough to put her broken pieces back together again; compassionate enough to take her hand in his at just the right moment for no reason at all; passionate enough to kiss her “hello” in a way that shows her how much he’s missed her and “goodbye” in a way that will always give her a reason to miss him as much; loving enough to show her in all the little ways that she is his world and make her feel as lucky to have him as she really is.
I hope he’s smart enough to know when to apologize, realize when he’s wrong, or simply admit when he doesn’t know the answer but is willing to find it.
I hope that he NEVER forgets that no matter how far he may be away from me, he is always in my heart. He ALWAYS has a home with me, no matter the circumstances. He can always ask me for help with anything, for any reason.
I hope he understands how desperately I wish I could’ve given him everything he so richly deserves to have in this life and that it pains me to know that at times I let him down, whether he ever saw it or not. I hope that he also understands that I always put him first and did all that I could to take care of his needs and keep him loved and happy.
But, most of all…
I pray that he knows how much I have loved him every single second since the moment he was conceived. And, that I love him more and more with each passing day. I know he’ll understand the depth of that love once he becomes a parent himself. And, I know that he’ll make the most incredible daddy ever. (Ummm… YEARS from now, right?)
I hope he remembers that he is a better man than most and his value as a man is only as good as his word. How he treats others is NOT a reflection of what they deserve or how they’ve treated him, but a direct reflection of the type of person HE is.
He will never be too old, or too big, to hear me tell him how much I love him or kiss and hug him. And, I hope that he’s not too terribly embarrassed when I still call him “punkin'” or “baby”. (Not that I’ll stop if he is.)
I know he’ll continue to make me proud… and he’ll always be my baby. I will love him unconditionally…
ALWAYS & FOREVER.